Holy massive class Batman. 34 peoples. I think this mat has room for roughly 20 to roll about without fear of running into your neighbours. It's VERY crowded. No running around the mat for warmups. Instead we do pushups / situps / squats, bridging, hip escapes, switchouts, then rows of hip escapes and switchouts down the mat. Just like every week. Slow progress with this many people, and especially with another collection of new people.
Standard side control intro. I'm tempted to write out the speech, but that's just too much effort. Grab a partner for circle drills. Side control > North / South > Side control on the other side > mount > dismount off the other side. Paired up with the small guy from some of my earlier classes who I thought had quit. Instead he's got himself a natty-looking black gi and has been attending the big kids class. He's doing a double tonight. Finding it very difficult to get all the way around without kicking someone nearby. Wow it's crowded.
After a few minutes of that, we get to see an Americana (Kimura? Figure 4? Whatever..) from side control. And then drill that. About 25 times each while the new people learn it.
Then we go to the other option for if you lose their arm over your low-side shoulder (The one furthest away from their head). I was actually looking forward to getting to practice this because I was fairly gumby at it last week. Apparently we're calling the movement an "up and crush" to figure 4. Basically underhook the arm you're attacking with your low-side arm, plant your other hand and pull up, then pull their arm tight to your body and jam your forearm into their ribs (this would be the crush). Step over their head into North South and basically sit on their head, use your legs to trap their upper body. Switch arms while keeping their arm pinned to your chest, find their wrist, get your figure-4 grip and bend it backwards for the tap.
I did them much better tonight. Not entirely sure what I was doing differently, but the final part of the motion felt more natural. Good.
Then we (shock horror) got to see something new. Basically it's an option for if that far-side arm is across their stomach instead of tucked in up near their chin. Apparently to get their arm to be available, you want to be square on to it so you can shove it off their body. This we achieve by scooting around towards North south, but stopping half way (like North-west / South-east? heh), then jackhammering their arm off like you normally would for. This leaves their arm exactly the other way up to how it would normally be. Get your figure-4 grip, scoot back towards normal side control, then switch your legs out towards their head. Swing your other leg over their head, to hold it down then crank the arm for the tap. Must hold their head down else they just sit up with the pressure.
Drilling these. Feeling like I'm better at one side than the other, and having a little problem getting my leg in the proper position, but not bad for a first time.
Then it's time for one minute rounds of side control specific sparring. I guess technically this is my first time rolling with one of the 'big kids'. Even though he's actually only my size, he's not really in the fundamentals class anymore, that makes him one of the big kids. So that means I get my ass kicked right?
Underneath first. Immediately up onto my side and generally making myself difficult. Nearly straight away snuck a leg through and got half guard. Success! Re-set, and he's doing a far better job of blocking off my hip this time. We basically go around in circles to end the round, although the last ten seconds were pretty hilarious, as 4 pairs all managed to collide. Damn it's crowded.
On top next. Immediately noticed that he likes to shove up with his forearms under side control. While that made him a little bit of space, I'm not entirely sure whether it's a great idea, as it seems to expose his arms a bit. About halfway through I spotted a good look at the up-and-crush, which I promptly screwed up, getting way too much up and not nearly enough crush and allowing him an easy escape. Boo. Re-set and nothing much happens for the rest of the round.
Hopefully someone who knows more than me can provide insight on whether shoving up with your arms under side control is sensible!?
Swap positions again. We're getting 4 rounds tonight. How excitement. I don't really think anything interesting happened in this round. I think I almost got out a couple of times, but he managed to scramble around, resulting in us going in circles a whole lot more. No real looks at subs for him either.
One more round with me on top. Lots more going around in circles to start with, then he locks his arms around me from underneath. Settled down and had a little think about how I could pop that far arm loose, and then tried, but missed. Around a little more until I got trapped with nowhere to go to with my legs by another pair. Didn't block his legs off enough and he got through to guard. Boo.
That's it, class finished. Quite pleased. Picked up a new technique for the first time in a few weeks, refined one I was screwing up and spotted a good chance to try one in live sparring, although I did screw it up when I tried. No problem, it was there, so knowing is worth something. Also got (a tiny bit) of sparring time with someone who knows more than me, which is a nice change for fundamentals.
Wednesday should be exciting. Apparently we're learning escapes from side control. Defence? In fundamentals? Whee!